Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Living in Interesting Times: Decentralization becomes the rage, something new is released upon the world

At the risk of sounding cliché, I'll say it:  We are living in interesting times.

Decentralization has become the rage.  
The Pope (paradoxically, or not?) has championed decentralization.
People are sending bitcoins to charitable organizations in the Philippines, aiding recovery from Typhoon Haiyan.  Decentralized and open source search, content curation, and operating systems are becoming more popular.  And so on.

What to make of this?  So that you can get a good understanding of the implications of decentralization in today's world (and why many people have been championing it for so long), below is shown a video in which Andreas Antonopolous, founder of RootEleven (and several other bitcoin-based businesses), explains what decentralization is and why it is beneficial:

"In a way, hierarchical systems are a solution to the problem of direct access to information, direct access to each other, and communication scarcity.  When the problem no longer exists, (a) centralization hierarchy is the wrong solution." - A. Antonopolous

For a long time I've pondered what this could all mean. I've written a bit about what will eventually evolve as a result - a new public good which will be funded and maintained by everyone.

So, together with some others, I've decided to release upon the world a new protocol which will enable giving to occur more naturally and in a decentralized way, on a micro-transaction level -- a protocol that is designed to function as a part of bitcoin, or any other decentralized system.  In a reflection about what bitcoin itself is, Jon Matonis has stated that "Bitcoin is both a "financial and transactional protocol" and a base money.  They are not mutually exclusive."  The details of the new protocol to enable decentralization and expansion of a giving economy, with various options for the users, will be provided soon via bitcoin mailing list(s)StackExchange, github, this blog, and elsewhere.

Recommended decentralization reads:
Maker of TextSecure steps up free, open source privacy protection with advanced cryptographic ratcheting.
BitCartel discussion of BRIC (Bunch of Redundant Independent Clouds) using Tahoe-LAFS.
An old discussion in which some people discuss establishing a system to use decentralized virtual currency as part of an accounting system involving decentralized markets where people would buy decentralized storage.
More on that discussion (see comments).
Bitcoinwisdom (excellent visualization of what's happening with bitcoin)
Zooko's triangle.
Buying gold with bitcoin.
Coincepts, LLC (the folks who made the Trollbox Archive, ConfigMyRig, and LocalCrypto)
Rocky Mountain Miners: The Prospector (will mine virtual currency out of the box, has "claim-jumper" tech)
RiftRecon now accepts bitcoin (select BitPay option at checkout)
(I think Datsusara Hemp Gear should accept bitcoin, too, but they don't at the moment)
How to Mine Litecoin - with your CPU
How to Mine Feathercoin

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